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Libertyville Family Law Blog

Prepare in advance to make your divorce easier

Divorce isn't right for everyone, and before you choose to divorce, you have to make sure you're positive that it's what you want. Many people feel that divorce is the only option to make their lives better, but there are some questions you need to consider before you file your divorce petition.

To start with, you should ask yourself if you are financially stable enough to go through the divorce. Do you have your own savings, bank accounts or credit cards to help you get through the divorce if your shared accounts are locked? Do you have somewhere to go or a place to live if you suggest a divorce to your spouse? You need to prepare far in advance if a divorce is what you want, or you could find yourself strapped for cash and struggling to get by.

Effective parenting in your post-divorce family

While divorce is often a heart-wrenching process, it may be the best option for you, your spouse and your children. Still, divorce may take a toll on your kids’ emotional wellbeing. By focusing on being a good parent, you help your kids adjust to a new way of life. 

Going through a divorce can be challenging for anyone. If you have children, though, your divorce may be downright frightening. Fortunately, you do not have to leave your parenting to chance. With some effort, you can likely make the transition easier for your kids. Here are four ways to parent effectively in your post-divorce family: 

Why is child support required in shared-custody scenarios?

Child support is important in situations where parents share custody and in situations where one has limited visitation. While every situation is slightly different, child support is typically provided regardless of the amount of time the parents share with the child or children. Even if both parents share custody evenly, support can still be sought.

Many people don't think that's fair, because it doesn't make a lot of sense. If you both have your child half of the time, then you're both supporting them, right? Well, things can be more complicated than that.

Divorce conflicts: Getting through to your ex

It is hard to deal with conflicts when a relationship is over. You may not want to see your ex-spouse, and it may be your priority to put any conflict to rest as quickly as you can. You just want to finalize the divorce, so you can move on with your life.

You're not alone in feeling that way. Many people get frustrated with conflicts that arise due to trouble coming up with a separation or settlement agreement. If this sounds familiar, then you may want to look into a few options to resolve your disputes.

Can you seek retroactive child support?

For a long time, your ex-spouse failed to pay any child support. Now that your child is older, the payments are finally being enforced. Your biggest issue with this is that your child has missed out on years of support from the other parent.

The thing you should know is that you can seek back child support payments. There is no reason why a parent should get away with not making payments just because they didn't want to or didn't seek modifications. Child support is ordered by the courts and must be paid unless other arrangements are made.

What can you do if you don't like the proposed custody plan?

Child custody can sometimes come with conflict. Unfortunately, it's difficult to handle conflicts that involve your children, and it's common to see both parents lashing out at each other while trying to protect their little ones.

As a parent, you need to understand that your wishes are separate from the best wishes of your child. They may not be the same, and the other parent may have positive intentions as well. For example, you might think the best thing for your child is living with you, but the other parent might think it's living with them. The judge, on the other hand, may believe a split-custody arrangement is a better situation for your child. What works for one person won't necessarily be the best option for the group, so it's important to work out a plan that is in everyone's best interests.

Divorce after 50, retirement accounts and your future

If you are divorcing later in life, chances are, you have many kinds of assets to divide, including a home, your vehicles, perhaps a boat, valuable collections and, last but not least, retirement accounts.

You must divide your IRA, 401(k) and your pension. You want to be sure these accounts are divided properly because different rules apply to different accounts.

Illinois has strict visitation policies: Learn more

Illinois is one state with extremely strict requirements for child custody. The laws are firm, which makes it possible to protect children regardless of their circumstances.

In Illinois, the courts are able to make decisions about:

  • Where visitation can take place
  • When supervision is necessary for visitations with a child
  • Whether to allow overnight visits with a parent
  • Whether a parent should have a right to visitation if they are under the influence or were under the influence of drugs or alcohol before a scheduled visit.

New law could require shared parenting orders in most cases

Living in Illinois, you may know that equal parenting time isn't yet required by law. However, many father's rights groups have been pushing for this to become the standard in court.

Presently, Illinois' judges have the right to determine and assign custody in any way that reflects the best interests of the child. However, that standard is fairly vague, so it can mean that parents go into court not knowing what to expect.

New bill encourages equal parenting time after divorce

A new bill has been produced in Illinois that would make it standard to expect equal parenting time in child custody cases. This is a great step forward in most situations involving divorcing parents since the majority of cases involve two loving parents who simply don't work out as a couple any longer.

Expecting two people to share the responsibility of raising a child or children together hasn't always been standard, and for a long time, it was almost guaranteed that a mother would have priority in obtaining custody. This new bill would guarantee that efforts were made to have both parents share equal custody of their child or children since it's known to be in the best interests of children in the majority of cases.

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